Posted by: wingnut650 | July 2, 2008

Pleasing all of the people all of the time

Not really.  An interesting thing happened to me today when going over a training presentation with our sales management to deliver to their sales teams.  We have a new reporting package that we’re releasing to our customers that was developed for our Spotlight on SQL Server Enterprise product.  This is a really great package of 22 reports that our customers have been wanting for some time and so the package was created (I should take a second to clarify that this is going to be treated like freeware and not specifically for lead gen). 
Anyway, we’re ‘releasing’ this pack on our SQL Server community site so that we can do two things:  provide exclusive content on our community to drive traffic to it; and, promote discussions about  the package on our forum dedicated to Spotlight (which is where some of the reports were suggested, actually).
One of our sales managers was really having none of this decision.  He was quite vocal about wanting it on the Quest website instead of the community because he thought it would be confusing to our prospects / customers to go to the community to get this report package.  I disagreed and when I tried to explain my point of view, was essentially talked over by this manager and told why he felt that the community destination was such a poor decision for this content.  Now, I am usually pretty good about being empathetic and trying to understand an opposing arguement.  And when I did on this occassion, it dawned on me that this person was really not a fan of doing ANYTHING on the community.  I was floored.  One of the goals of our BU is to do everything we can to connect to the SQL Server community and do what we can to communicate directly with this audience and have these people (which IS who we are selling product to) have a voice in shaping our product portfolio.  Now, I’ve been in sales and I know that it’s easy to be slightly myopic and think about how to get a lead and convert to a sale TODAY.  But dismissing the community and not looking at it (from a sales standpoint) as a different type of sales “tool” where customers and prospects can be directed, relationships and loyalty can be developed, and, “Quest” evangelists can be nurtured…well, it’s a hard one to swallow.  Needless to say, I did NOT please all of the people today…and I’m OK with it.

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Responses

  1. amen to that. when i get in situations like that (and it happens often enough of course) i have to remind myself that as long as i’m doing something for the right reasons and best interest of the business, then i can’t let the opinion of the minority drag me down… and sometimes they drag pretty hard.

    Are you impressed that i found your blog – all by myself? 🙂

  2. Heather just told ME about this blog – how often do you think that happens? Ha ha ho ho….

    Anyway, my answer to the not-on-the-community people is to say, “When we release this on the community site, I’m going to get other DBAs making improvements to it, and they’re going to do a far better/faster job than I could do by myself, so it’s like getting development time for free.” Toss in the crowdsourcing concept, and that’ll really baffle ’em.

  3. Welcome to the party Brent – yes, we blog too – sort of, and sporadically 😉

  4. […] products, Spotlight on SQL Server Enterprise, has a new reporting package that I mentioned in a previous post – which we will be releasing exclusively on our community.  This is the first time that […]

  5. For sales people, the community is giving things away without a sales objective. We create short-sightedness into every aspect of selling in this industry, so it’s not really surprising, is it? The sales guys cannot see how giving away anything now will result in sales later.

    Moreover, a community is not just a bunch of prospects waiting to be sold–which is what sales people want it to be. A community is vendors, partners, and PEOPLE coming together.


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